The world has more young people than ever before, offering an unprecedented opportunity to achieve the world’s development goals by prioritising the needs and wellbeing of this important group. At the same time, adolescents and youth face particular challenges in relation to their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and have also struggled to achieve active and meaningful participation in their societies. Young people themselves identify limited opportunity to participate in decision-making processes as one of their key challenges. They are frequently inadequately represented in formal political institutions and processes, and people under the age of 35 are rarely found in leadership positions.
In recent years, international recognition has grown that investment in the wellbeing of young people is necessary to respect, fulfil and protect their human rights and that such investment can offer enormous and long-lasting economic and societal advantages. As a result, international development frameworks have placed increasing emphasis on meeting the needs of young people. ACT!2030 directly responds to this context by placing young people front and centre in using data to advocate for their own sexual and reproductive health and rights. The project was initiated as a collaboration between The PACT, UNAIDS and national youth alliances in 2013 with the objective of increasing youth participation in negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda. The initiative focused on accountability for implementing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, with the current phase of the project emphasising data and evidence, advocacy for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health / HIV indicators, communication and global exchange.
Objectives and Aims
The primary objective of the evaluation was to assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of the ACT!2030 initiative (OECD/DAC evaluation criteria), while also considering relevant gender and human rights issues, such as the inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups of young people. The review also had a strong focus on the contribution of ACT!2030 to meaningful youth participation.
The review aimed to describe learnings across four key areas:
• Achievements of the ACT!2030 project during Phases 1 – 4 and identification of how these results were achieved;
• Implementation challenges;
• Lessons learned;
• Forward recommendations for ACT!2030 and/or other initiatives focused on youth-led participation and advocacy.
The review covered all twelve countries in which ACT!2030 has been implemented, with particular emphasis on two country case studies (Mexico and Zimbabwe) to allow deeper understanding of the project’s effectiveness. Methods included:
• document review at global, regional and country level;
• key-informant interviews with stakeholders at all levels;
• focus group discussions with youth;
• a survey with ACT national youth coordinators
• an eRoundtable with ACT national youth coordinators to validate findings
The Swiss TPH team was supported by national youth consultants in each country for the desk and country case studies. The team was further supported by two youth consultants based in Switzerland.
Results will be made available at the end of the evaluation and after acceptance of the official report by UNAIDS.
The project targeted youth-led organisations in 12 LMIC (Algeria, Bulgaria, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The evaluation conducted by Swiss TPH should provide guidance for the country youth-led organisation alliances for their future work in accountability. It also aims to help UNAIDS, the International Planned Parenthood Federation that is the implementing the coordination activities for ACT!2030 and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to learn from and potentially further development and fund such initiatives.